The Belgian playmaker has experienced a difficult start to the new season, as he recovers from an injury sustained at Euro 2020.
De Bruyne started in the Carabao Cup against Wycombe Wanderers in midweek, with City picking up a thumping 6-1 win.
With De Bruyne getting on the scoresheet, Guardiola admits he was pleased with his midfielder's outing.
"Phil was injured for two months after the national team. Phil doesn't need many games to take his rhythm because he's a guy who lives 24 hours to play football and his physicality is sharp," said Guardiola, per the Manchester Evening News.
"Kevin needs to make a proper pre-season and was injured for a long time, after the final of the Champions League from what [Antonio] Rudiger did.
"The European Cup wasn't perfect and after he had an injury for the national team and he needs to be fit, he needs to be physical in the right rhythm and that's why it was so good what he did knowing that he's not in the perfect way or condition but step by step he is better.
"When Kevin's backwards are good, now is the moment to feel that Kevin starts to be ready. In previous games he played good but his backwards were not good, they stopped. He didn't run backwards like he runs forward and today he did it for the first time.
"Step by step Kevin will be back because I know he's an incredibly professional player and he loves to play football so much and we need him so much."
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